DUBUQUE - In a tournament that was postponed due to weather, the Camanche boys tennis team fell just short of continuing a try for state at Dubuque Wahlert on Friday afternoon.
It wasn't exactly what the Indians expected.
"We didn't play real well in the last matches" head coach Jeff Marsh said. "Didn't play like we normally do."
The Indians, who lost just one duel meet this year and dominated numerous tournaments, play in one of the toughest districts in Iowa. According to the latest Iowa High School Coaches Poll, Dubuque Wahlert is the No. 1 team in Class 1A, while Cedar Rapids Xavier in No. 2. Thursday was certainly not a walk in the park for the Indians.
"Every year this district is loaded," Marsh said. "Some of the years the state champions from singles, doubles and team all come out of this district. It's like a mini state tournament here every year."
"We're used to it, though. We know what's coming down the road. We tell them they have to step up and play if they want to win."
On the singles side, both Nick Thoms and Dalton Weber picked up one win a piece. Although the two bowed out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, their points were imperative for the overall team score.
"Both of them won a round, and got us some points team wise," Marsh said. "That's what we expected out of them."
The biggest hopes of the day laid with the doubles. Caleb Delzell and Zach Leu picked up points with their first win of the day before being ousted in the quarterfinals as well.
No. 1 doubles pair Mason Holstein, a state qualifier in 2018, and Dylan Determan had the best shot. The pair are known for their aggressive play at the net and near unhittable serves.
After a bye in the first round, they started things off with a hard fought win over Dubuque Wahlert.
"There's a lot of rivalry between us and Wahlert, the intensity was there," Holstein said.
That left the pair to face a Cedar Rapids Xavier foe for their second top-ranked opponent of the day. The first set was a long battle, one which the Indians eventually lost in a tie breaker. That's a tough way to lose the first set.
"It definitely killed the vibe," Holstein said. "I still couldn't hold my serve. I was just trying to relax."
There were some bad signs from the get-go.
"I couldn't hit my serve, otherwise we could have won that set," Holstein said. "I felt more intimidating, my shots were good."
After that, frustration seemed to build for the Indians. Shots went long, serves weren't hitting their mark, and Xavier decidedly returned everything the Indians threw at them.
Holstein and Determan played for third place.
The Indians finished third as a team, meaning they play in the team regional on Saturday morning at Wahlert Catholic. Although they're facing one of the top teams in the state, it's one they've seen before and built a good rivalry with.
Not to mention after a disappointing individual district tournament, the Indians might have some extra motivation.
"We've had some good matches over the years," Marsh said.